Good Beginner MTB Trails in CV?
Hey folks, Now that all my summer home projects are complete its finally time to think about some recreation. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of some good beginner MTB trails in Canaan V? Thanks!!
Best beginner trails in CV are:
1) Blackwater Canyon Rail Grade Trail - Starts in Thomas and heads downhill about 10 miles and 1000' to Hendricks. Basically an undeveloped rail trail at this time. Mostly smooth non-technical single track without obstacles or climbing. You can hire a shuttle from the new Bike/Kayak store in Thomas or turn around and peddle back (20 miles total). The return trip will definately burn your thighs. Very beautiful and remote. Try this trail now before it becomes (a) a developed rail trail or (b) a logging road (both options are on the table right now).
2) Allegheny Highlands Rail Trail (Parsons). This is a developed rail trail that begins in Parsons and heads all the way to Elkins. Not really mountain biking, but a good trail for kids and non-biking spouses. Eventually, this trail is supposed to expand to include the Blackwater Canyon rail grade and head up to Davis and Mount Storm Lake.
3) Camp 70 Trail - this trail starts in Davis on the road next to the Shop'n'Save. Starts out as an old access road onto the CVI property but slowly degrades into a dirt, rock, and puddle fire road. Extends about 5 miles out into the CVI property and the NWR. Parallels the Blackwater River. This is a fun ride and a good introduction to mountain biking - though not truly single track. There are unmarked single track trails that lead off to the left; however, I have not explored these sections yet. Some of these offshoots are rumored to be easy, others are supposed to be pretty gnarly (including the old Moonrocks section from the original 24 hours of Canaan race course).
4) Canaan Valley State Park - There is a 9 mile loop on multi-use trails through the park. This is not really a beginner trail, but is a nice step up from the above three trails. Parts roll along easily through grassy meadows in the park. Other parts are true single track through the woods with some decent downhills. Moderate technical terrain; however, there are about 3 challenging climbs worth noting that are pretty rooty - one is pretty long also. Route follows the Back Hollow Trail to Middle Ridge to Club Run and then back along the Back Hollow Trail. If you are familar with the popular MTB trails in MD and NVA I would compare this trail to Schaeffer Farms with longer climbs.
These are the easiest trails I've found so far in the Valley, but there are a lot of areas I still have not tried. Check with Roger or JR at Blackwater Bikes for more info.